Earlier this year my grandson who was in the fifth grade choir had a spring concert at the local high school.
This high school is my alma mater but over the last 40 years they have made major changes and renovation to the building. It’s really has very little left from what it was when I was attending high school.
My wife had to work that night, so did my daughter and my son. It was up to me to make sure I attended the event to show him our support.
Usually for me going to these elementary school concerts is a have to do type of thing. I never really looked forward to the bad timing, sour notes and the generally go through the motions, uninspired performances.
On this night the concert was sandwiched in between other duties and chores I had to take care of and it had been a rather stressful day.
So I drove to the school thinking let’s get this over so I can say hello, show my support and get back to what I need to get done.
As stated earlier the school has been reworked so many times that I wasn’t even sure which set of doors was the entrance. I waited for some other people to park and get out of their car so I could follow them to the main entrance.
When I entered the building it was nothing like it was when I went to school. I had to follow other people to find the auditorium. I went in and sat down.
Even though the entire auditorium had been completely redone and enlarged, when I sat down and looked at the updated stage I knew in spite of all the improvements that this was the same stage where I had performed as a teenager.
When the renovated stage became familiar to me the whole renovated auditorium felt like the same room I had occupied so many times during my high school days.
The feeling began to calm my disposition.
Then the elementary band came on and started to perform.
The songs were short as to be expected and their brevity was appreciated by both the audience and the performers.
As I was listening I began to enjoy it. I use to think of it as “bad” music but on this night it wasn’t. On this night it was “elementary” music. It sounded elementary and that was okay.
It made me think of all the hours the teacher and the students had put into the performance. And it made me wonder how many of these elementary performers would stay with their music throughout their life. Was I witnessing any young budding stars?
The music, orchestral and choral, as elementary as it was, had a calming effect.
Maybe it was the nostalgia of the moment. I watched the percussion section furiously trying to keep time, all two of them, their right foot taping and their heads bobbing.
I remembered standing behind the snare drum while everyone else got to sit (now it’s the other way around). I remember staring intently at the sheet music while still checking out the flute section (most of the girls played flute).
Anyway I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed the concert. I guess realizing that it’s elementary music not bad music helped me to enjoy myself.
Maybe it was knowing what all music has brought into and will continue to bring into my life and then seeing those kids just starting out not having any idea what the future may hold. They have no idea of the journey that life may have in store for them.
I left the concert feeling much better than I did when I arrived. It gave me a new perspective on my life and how I look at music.
© Otis P Smith and About the Groove, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Otis P Smith and About the Groove with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.